Thursday, May 21, 2009


Butterfly Garden, 2 months ago:

Butterfly Garden, 1 month ago:

Butterfly Garden, this morning:

Stunning, isn't it?

Truth be told, I suspect much of that is just random weeds. Ho, hum. Sorry for the disappointment. Maybe in another month. I'm doing everything I can. And what else am I going to do besides stand there on the lawn all afternoon screaming, "Grow faster!"

I must have bad dirt, if there is such a thing. And cutting back all my watering times can't have helped either. But there is some growth. And, I swear it's true, I came out to check on it all a few days ago and I saw a butterfly flitting over the fence, come to check it over himself, see if it was ready for move-in. It was your standard lone monarch, looking healthy and focused, and he alighted on some of the plants to analyze their potential. A scout. I think he was mildly impressed, but when he saw me coming, he flew off to places beyond the fence. Luxurious gardens of milkweed and yarrow, proliferating at the neighbors', no doubt.

It's tricky, these bags of unidentifiable seeds. You just bury them in the ground and see what comes up. There's no telling what they'll really look like and whether they'll settle in your climate, in your soil, so you wait and see what green pops out. There were some weeds in there that I recognized right away and yanked, but there are others that I can't be sure about, so I let them go to flower and decide from there -and then it's usually too late, when they've spread like voracious interstellar triffids on the back lawn.

But lean in close... as there is some alien life to be found among it all:

It's amazing that in any pile of greenery, whether on a garden isle, midwestern farm, or weedy lot, you can usually come across some odd beauty, some tiny amazing thing intent on growing in spite of the odds, neither caring about those odds nor feeling sorry for itself. It just follows the blueprint of its DNA and accepts the given set of circumstances. But it doesn't know that it follows any blueprint, and it doesn't know that it accepts any circumstances. It just is. Not like us, who labor and spin.

The pursuit of gardening is really no pursuit at all. It's like chasing a driverless car, parked on the side of the road. You're standing there, waiting for something. Is it that the car has yet to leave the curb? Or were you plotting a chase where there was never one to be had? Eventually the flower blooms, whithers, and dies, all in the span of a week or so, and it is as if God, Himself, has emerged from the house, waved to you as he got in the car, and then has driven off, leaving you standing there on the curb, awestruck. Dumbstruck. And forgetting the chase entirely.